Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about books on your top book lists…
This past week, Borders re-released it’s 100 Favourite Books of All Times. Do you vote in these kinds of polls when they arise? Do you look through the list, or seek out books featured?
I don't know why, but I can't say that I have ever seem one of these lists to vote on. And quite honestly, while I must admit I went over and had a look at that Borders list, I don't put a lot of stock in lists that are voted on by 'regular' people. I much prefer ones voted on by irregular people...lol
Really, take a look at it...The Da Vinci Code, one of the favorite books OF ALL TIME!. All time?
If I believed that, I might give up reading altogether.
Sorry, I think my Da Vince Code issues might have gotten out of control there for a minute. Not for the last time no doubt. ;-)
But it is true. Lists like this are a better gauge of passing whims and popularity than quality and I am more interested in lists that might guide me to real quality books that somehow, in my many years of reading, I may have missed. I can see my copy of "1001 Books To Read Before You Die" sitting on my shelves and I have spent many a fascinating hour looking through it. As to there being some I have missed, I can assure you that sadly there are more than a few of those. Someday, I hope to correct that shortcoming in my education...if I live to be really, really old. Not least of all for the simple reason that many of these classics are simply great reads, rip-roaringly good stories. That is something I think we sometimes forget and would be wise to consider when we are looking for our next book to read. Maybe we should reach for one of these lists for a suggestion and consider picking up a classic rather than what is on the NY Times bestseller list this week.
One list of that sort that I saw recently was Newsweek's Top 100 Books, a "meta" list, complied from top 10 lists from a variety of sources. There is a wide variety of books on this one, from classics to modern fiction, from all sorts of writers, many I am sure we could all agree on and a few some of us might question. But bottom line, it is interesting and contains a number of books that I know I should read but haven't yet. If it contains books I think I should have read somewhere along the line, I know it is a pretty good "Best" list. And lists have a use, as the compilers of the Newsweek list say,
"..lists—dating back to, say, the Ten Commandments—have an undeniable appeal. And they often serve a useful purpose. They can focus the mind, stimulate discussion, help us make judgments, convey valuable information, and, yes, even encourage us to read books."Thinking about books, talking about books, discussing, even disagreeing about books but most of all, reading books...I think we all agree those are good things!